What is the Sump Pump Inventory Program?
June 2007 – August 2007
Homeowners and businesses use water every day for cleaning, bathrooms, etc., and send it down their drains when they are through with it. This water goes into the sanitary sewers where it is conveyed to the Hutchinson Wastewater Treatment Facility. This is what is supposed to happen.
To avoid groundwater or rainwater from entering homes/business basements, some homes/businesses have sump pumps in their basements. These pumps are designed to pump groundwater or rainwater to the outside of the home/business to storm sewers.
In order to eliminate the clean water that is discharged by sump pumps into the sanitary sewers, the City of Hutchinson is conducting another sump pump inventory program.
During the first Sump Pump Inventory Program in 2001, the City found that 8-9% of homes and businesses were out of compliance. This meant that before the 2001 program, an estimated 100 million gallons per year was being contributed to the City of Hutchinson Wastewater Treatment Facility for treatment. Treating sump pump water is not necessary and increases operating cost at the Wastewater Plant.
During June through August, 2007, inspectors will be visiting selected homes to make sure sump pumps are properly connected.
The Program is a four-step process:
- Letters will be sent with the June utility bill with notification of when inspections will be taking place along with information about sump pump connections.
- Inspectors will go to homes/businesses to perform the inspections. Inspectors will not enter your home/business without you permission.
- The inspectors should take only 10-15 minutes to perform the inspection
- The inspectors will only look at your sump pump system
- A copy of the inspection form will be left with you.
- Signing the inspection form only means that you have a home/business that was inspected.
- If you are not at home when the inspector arrives, or if it is not convenient for you to allow inspection at that time, a notice will be left with the number 234-4200 that you may call to make an appointment. The number is equipped with a voice-mail feature so you may leave a message at any hour of the day or night. Appointments will be scheduled for weekdays and Saturdays. If you do not call and make an appointment, we will attempt to contact you to arrange for inspection first by telephone, and then through the mail.
- Not all homes and businesses will be inspected. An inspector will leave a notice if your home or business requires an inspection. If you do not receive a notice then an inspection is not required. If an inspection is required on your property and you do not arrange for an inspection, a surcharge of $100 per month will be added to your wastewater bill until your home/business is inspected.
- If your Sump Pump is not properly installed, you will have 30 days to make the necessary corrections. The Inspector will also provide you with a diagram that illustrates the correct type of installation and some pamphlets explaining how to do the work yourself. No building permit is required.
- Once you have made the necessary corrections, call the sump pump correction inspection telephone number at (320)234-5682 to set up an appointment for an inspection. Inspectors will then verify that the sump pump corrections have been properly performed.
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Reasons for Sump Pump Program
Sump Pump cross-connections are prohibited by both the City of Hutchinson’s Ordinance and the Plumbing Code
Protects the Environment by reducing the chance of causing an upset to the Wastewater Treatment Facilities process
Reduces flooding and overloading of the sanitary sewer system
Reduces public health risks
Extends the design capacity of the Wastewater Treatment Facility
Reduces the City of Hutchinson wastewater treatment costs.
Examples of Correctly and Incorrectly Installed Sump Pumps
In a correctly installed system, a rigid section of pipe, such as PVC, takes water from the sump pump, through the basement, and deposits it outside the home or business.
(Click on each picture below to see larger view)
Incorrectly installed or cross connected sump pump systems drain to the sanitary sewer. Sometimes the tile line is routed directly to the floor drain and not into a sump pit. This is also a illegal cross connection.
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Preventing Water In The Basement
- Techniques to prevent water from getting into your basement include but are not limited to: Install rain gutters on your house and direct the downspouts away from your home. If you already have rain gutters, make sure that they are installed correctly and are cleaned out regularly, and that the downspouts are draining at least 3-5 feet away from your foundation.
- Shape any landscaping to grade away at least 5 feet from your home’ foundation.
- Soils around a house tend to compact and drop after construction, creating a situation in which yard drainage may be directed up next to the house, increasing the potential for water intrusion.
- Many people fill in this area with landscaping rock, which may hide the actual soil slope under them, and has the potential to create an area next to the house where water can build up. You may need to remove the rock, add clay soil to grade away from the house and then reinstall the rock or other landscaping.
- Look for any obstructions in your yard that may prohibit surface water from flowing away form your home, or through your yard. This often happens when a storage shed is built too close to your home or is blocking drainage in the back of your lot. Often drainage swales in rear yards or between home are blocked during landscaping. Also it is common to see sand boxes, gardens or other items that may block drainage. It is important that the water can run out to a curb line or storm drain without being blocked.
Sump Pump Discharge
Some homeowners and businesses have a cross connected sump pump that discharges illegally to the sanitary sewer. Cross connected means sump pumps that are connected to the sanitary sewer lines instead of going directly outside of homes/businesses on lawns or to the storm sewer. So every time it rains, they send clean water into the sanitary sewer system which goes to the Hutchinson Wastewater Treatment Facility.
What is the problem with sump pump discharge to the sanitary sewer?
Backup of wastewater in basements is costly to clean up and creates potential health hazards.
An average home contributes approximately 200 gallons per day of wastewater.
A sump pump may contribute approximately 5,000 gallons per day of water or 25 times the average wastewater flows per home.
Over 40 million gallons of clean water enters the sanitary sewers and unnecessarily increases the costs for treatment at the wastewater treatment facility.
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Terms & Definitions
Sanitary Sewers – Underground pipelines that collect and convey wastewater from homes/business sinks, toilets, showers, washing machines, etc., to a treatment facility.
Treatment Facility – Consist of concrete structures, buildings, and equipment which clean the wastewater before discharging to area streams and lakes.
Storm Sewer – Underground pipelines that collect and convey rainwater and groundwater from streets, parking lots, roofs, lawns, etc., to area streams and lakes.
Sump Pumps – Pumps that are installed in the sump pits located in basements of homes/businesses. The sump pump conveys ground or rainwater that may enter the home/business to the outside of the home/business onto lawns or into storm sewers.
Cross Connection – Sump pumps that are connected to the sanitary sewers instead of going directly outside of homes/businesses on lawns or storm sewers.